Pride of Sport Awards: the winners

26 November 2015

People who have made a difference to sport were celebrated last night at the the Daily Mirror and Sport England Pride of Sports Awards.

The awards were hosted by TV presenter Ben Shephard at Grosvenor House in London.

The winners were:

Tuff FC – Sport England Community Sports Initiative of the Year

The London-based youth football club was set up to combat extremism and internet radicalisation.

It helps youths from all backgrounds explore their British identities, with the goal of promoting tolerance on the pitch and creating a sense of unity.  

Pete Malady – Local Hero

Pete Malady

Pete turned the Bengeo Tigers from a football team with the worst disciplinary record in their league into the best-behaved when he took over as Welfare Officer in 2012, building a new culture for the club and winning FA awards along the way.

Chris Graham – Sporting Charity Challenge of the Year

Former soldier Chris was diagnosed with early-onset dementia five years ago at just 34, a condition which has claimed the life of four members of his family in their 40s, including his father.

Chris knows any cure will probably come too late for him but is fundraising to try to help his children and other families. He has since raised more than £35,000 for Alzheimer's Research and is currently taking part in a 16,000 mile cycle ride around Canada and America.

Kaitlin Lafferty – Young Achiever

At the age of nine, Kaitlin suffered a stroke, followed by another six months later, eventually being diagnosed with a genetic disorder that requires a lifetime of medication.

She refused to give up on her sporting goals though and battled through her condition to be selected for the Great Britaintumbling and trampolining team after winning a bronze medal at the British Championships.

Dakota Ditcheva – Young Sportsperson of the Year

Dakota -ditcheva 2

Teenage Muay Thai fighter Dakota has overcoming severe stage fright to reach the top of her sport, gaining British and European junior titles and gold medals in the last three World Championships.

London Marathon – Sporting Event of the Year

The London Marathon broke a string of records on the iconic event's 35th anniversary in 2015 with the biggest and most successful staging of the world’s greatest road race yet, raising £54.1million for charity: a new landmark for the world's biggest single-day fundraising event.

Natasha Coates – Disabled Sportsperson Award

Natasha has been a gymnast for 10 years but was diagnosed as suffering a mast cell disorder after being repeatedly hospitalised two years ago due to a series of anaphylactic reactions.

This has not held her back and she is the current all round British champion for disability gymnastics with 14 titles to her name.

John Eagleton – Volunteer of the Year

John is the driving force behind Colebrook Royals, a hugely successful football club and thriving community project he built from scratch.

Thanks to John’s devotion, he has helped them secure Football Foundation funding and launching a thriving education project in conjunction with the local council, helping youngsters gain coaching qualifications.

Mel Marshall – Coach of the Year

Swimmer and double Olympian Mel Marshall is the UK’s most decorated female athlete at the Commonwealth Games, winning six medals at the 2006 Games.

Since retiring she has turned to coaching and has been instrumental in helping Adam Peaty become a Commonwealth and European gold medallist. She also is passionate about charity and fundraising.


England test cricket captain Alastair Cook was awarded Inspirational Performance of the Year, while England football manager Roy Hodgson was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.